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See more synonyms for inquisitive on Thesaurus.com
  1. given to inquiry, research, or asking questions; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious: an inquisitive mind.
  2. unduly or inappropriately curious; prying.
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  1. an inquisitive person: thick curtains to frustrate inquisitives.
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Origin of inquisitive

1350–1400; < Late Latin inquīsītīvus, equivalent to Latin inquīsīt(us) (see inquisition) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English inquisitif < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related formsin·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbin·quis·i·tive·ness, nounsu·per·in·quis·i·tive, adjectivesu·per·in·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbsu·per·in·quis·i·tive·ness, nounun·in·quis·i·tive, adjectiveun·in·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbun·in·quis·i·tive·ness, noun

Synonym study

2. See curious.


1, 2. uninterested.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for inquisitiveness


  1. excessively curious, esp about the affairs of others; prying
  2. eager to learn; inquiring
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Derived Formsinquisitively, adverbinquisitiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inquisitiveness



late 14c., from Old French inquisitif, from Late Latin inquisitivus "making inquiry," from Latin inquisit-, past participle stem of inquirere (see inquire).

An housbonde shal nat been Inquisityf of goddes pryuetee nor of his wyf. [Chaucer, "Miller's Prologue"]

Related: Inquisitively; inquisitiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper